PAW Pekoe Acupuncture and Wellness Center, PLLC Washington, DC Fri, 09 Oct 2015 16:25:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 As the Dust Settles Sun, 13 Sep 2015 19:27:31 +0000 For the past year Pekoe has been slowly undergoing renovation, and we’ve finally reached the end of our Great Streets Grant work. It’s been a roller coaster ride but now we get to put everything back in place, dust ourselves off, and enjoy the rewards of all our hard work.

Our first grant push started in August 2014, where we repaired some walls in the lower level treatment rooms, built our Great Wall of Yoga, and installed some equipment to help with our patients with poor mobility. We were able to purchase new treatment tables for our upper level treatment rooms, which have really helped with our increased patient load and preventing repetitive stress injuries to our practitioners, and created a more safe and comfortable treatment situation for our clients.

new fixtures

Grab Bars in Bathroom

wheelchair ramp to entry

Ramp to Entry!

josh on stairs

Josh heading downstairs for the first time!

Hydraulic Treatment Tables

Hydraulic Treatment Tables









We were able to extend our grant award funds to 2015, and once we were given the green light in May we scheduled construction for soundproofing, weather proofing, signage, painting, and remodeling the lower level bathroom. During the planning stage, we were stuck trying to decide if we wanted to install a combo steam shower or an infrared dry sauna, and a colleague turned us on to an infrared table warmer which made our decision easy. We were able to purchase these Biomat table warmers for each room as well as the reflexology chair AND we were able to install a steam shower! Holy moly, this is getting serious.

LL biomat naked


biomat mini

Biomat on the Reflexology/Foot Bath Chair!










The work did cause some disruption to services– we shut down for a week and took up a room at the Cambria Inn and Suites across the street so we could keep treating our acupuncture patients. It was a bit chaotic, but everyone was so patient with us that we cannot complain! Most of the work had to be done after hours or in the wee morning, which was really difficult for our contractor and his crew, so there were a few days where we got in each others way. We hope the noise didn’t bother you too much! And we hope Anderson Design & Build enjoyed being with us!

I could go on and on, but I should let you see it for yourselves:

  •  All treatment room walls were buffered with sound deadening rubber and an extra layer of drywall. Two of our rooms’ ceilings were also soundproofed!


M2 During








  • New Exterior Paint!! Meditative blue with white and grey accent. We were looking a little rough around the edges…..

4a Exterior Before4b Exterior After










1a Front Facade Before_11b Front Facade After










facade beforefacade after










  • New Signage!!

signage afterinterior pekoe










  • Lower Level Bathroom Remodel Before and After!!

1 LL Bathroom Before1b LL Bathroom After










2 LL Bathroom Before 2b LL Bathroom After











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Let Us Help With Repetitive Stress Wed, 19 Aug 2015 13:07:02 +0000 Do any of you remember the Charlie Chaplin movie Modern Times? It’s the story of a factory worker who is forced to test a new piece of equipment (essentially the conveyor belt,) and since he spends all his time doing the same thing over and over and over again, he slowly has a nervous breakdown and gets sent to the insane asylum.

That was actually a real problem back in the days where we used to make things here. Labor Unions actually helped to provide factory workers with decent salaries, and that helped alleviate things somewhat, but the fact remained that people spent hours essentially doing the same thing over and over and over again.

image of factory workers working on assembly line ** Note: Slight graininess, best at smaller sizes

Almost every blue collar town had an enormous amount of guys with bad backs and trick knees. If you lived in a town with a lot of assembly line work, there were more men of working age who were limping than weren’t. And aside from the physical problems, repetitive physical labor also had a tendency to aggravate the psyche of workers (as illustrated by Mr. Chaplin.)

These twinges and aches and pains are called “repetitive stress injuries.” These are different than an injury that happens all at once. These are aches and pains and strains that build up over time, often by using one particular part of your body to do the same thing over and over again. Sometimes people with repetitive stress injuries sort of become used to them, and don’t even view them as something that needs to be treated, and that’s when they lead to even more severe injuries and conditions.

There might not be a lot of manufacturing jobs left in the United States, particularly in the DC area. But there are still a lot of repetitive stress injuries cropping up. The repetitive stress injuries we see these days have a tendency to be micro rather than macro. For instance, a conveyor belt worker at a Chrysler plant in 1979 would have repetitive stress injuries in his knees, wrists, and back. Nowadays, we see repetitive stress injuries that reflect the work that people are doing now. Graphic designers get wrist and finger strains from operating a mouse 8 to 10 hours a day. Everyone gets sore thumbs from sending a million texts and posting 100 tweets every day. People get severe headaches from staring at screens all day, or their necks and backs are sore from hunching over their PC’s at work.

You might be thinking that this sort of thing is no big deal, and you would be wrong. In the first place, any strain or injury should be treated. Also, not treating a strain or injury will not only make the injury worse, but will probably lead to other injuries. If my wrist starts to constantly hurt due to working my mouse, I will start to favor that wrist, and perhaps start using the muscles in my forearm to work the mouse instead. My forearm is now being used over and over again in ways that it isn’t used to, so now it’s starting to hurt as well. So in not treating the initial problem, I’ve given myself two problem areas for the price of one.

So what to do regarding those aches and pains in your fingers and wrists that seem unavoidable if you want to make a living? Do you just “muscle through it,” in the hopes that it will magically get better on its own?

Of course not.

Massage and acupuncture are two great ways to help treat your repetitive stress injuries. Both are effective at relieving pain from using the same muscle group in the same constricted and limited ways over and over again, and both are effective at relaxing those muscle groups so they are under less stress and strain. So in terms of helping with repetitive stress injuries, acupuncture and massage can both prevent it from occurring in the first place.

Here’s our recommendation: First, if you are coming in here on a regular basis for massage or acupuncture, and your job involves repetitive motion, let your practitioner know. Tell them specifically what you do, and more importantly, tell them how you do it. They can not only treat those muscle groups, but can also give you some ideas as to how to conserve those muscle groups while you work. It’s preventive maintenance at its finest.

Series of female office worker doing stretching exercises ideal for use as promoting healthier lifestyle for those working in office condition.

Your way of earning a living doesn’t have to wreck your health and comfort. Come see us as soon as you can, tell us about your work, and let us set a course of treatment for you.


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Postnatal Services at Pekoe Wed, 19 Aug 2015 02:43:23 +0000 Here’s what we know about childbirth: It hurts.

We can say that with some certainty, as many of your practitioners here at Pekoe have given birth. Some of us have done so on more than one occasion.

Yes, it’s amazing. Yes, you are loaded with hormones that initially distract you from the pain, and many of you might have even had an epidural, which made the experience a lot less painful than it might have been, but at the end of the day, you just brought a living being out of your body and into the world, and that is not something that happens without a twinge here or there.

It hurts to sit, particularly if you had an episiotomy. It hurts to walk. And if you have quite wisely decided to breast feed your baby, that hurts as well. Your legs probably hurt. Your lower back hurts. Your nipples and breasts hurt. Plus you probably aren’t sleeping much, what with your baby needing to be fed every two hours.

This is simultaneously the greatest and most physically painful event that has ever happened to you. So aside from chugging Advil and lying around on your back, is there anything that you can do to speed up the healing process?

Yes, there absolutely is.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs will help. So will massage. You can choose one or the other or all of them together, and this will help you recover faster and just plain feel better.

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs

When a woman gives birth, she uses an incredible amount of energy. So much so that the average recovery period is around 6 weeks. It might be longer if she went into the pregnancy deficient, or had a great deal of morning sickness. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help get your natural healing energy back into gear. They can help with aches, realigning the digestive system, ease that sense of heaviness in your hands and feet, that overall sense of fatigue, increase blood flow to help reduce swelling and heal injury, and they can help with speeding up and stabilizing your lactation process. Oh, and you get to be alone and rest in blissful quiet.


Aside from the obvious and immediate benefit of massage (it feels amazing,) postpartum massage will relax your muscles, alleviate your stress levels, increase and improve your blood circulation, and increase prolactin and oxytocin levels, which also helps stimulate and improve breastfeeding. We also highly recommend baby massage (coming soon to Pekoe!) to help fussy babies, sleep, colic symptoms, bonding, and general well-being. Manisha Tare at Falling Leaf Wellness does a great job of teaching parents how to do baby massage and also offers Mommy and Me yoga classes!


We want you to be at your best when you are caring for your new arrival, and that means we want you to help your body recover from the enormous physical expenditure that is giving birth. Come see us as soon as you can. You’ll feel the difference immediately.


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Working on Seasonal Affective Disorder Starts Now Wed, 19 Aug 2015 02:35:59 +0000 Yes, it’s summer. Yes, it’s hot. Yes, the sun doesn’t go down until 8:00 PM. Yes, the birds are singing and the mosquitos are buzzing and the Nationals are playing and it’s as humid as all get out. So why would you start worrying about the winter right now?

To be sure, there are some things that can be left for later. You don’t have to go to Home Depot and buy ten pounds of driveway salt (although it’s significantly cheaper now.) You don’t have to put up that weatherproofing on your windows (although it would probably help keep the air-conditioning in and save you money on your cooling bills.) You don’t have to have your winter coats cleaned now (although it would probably save you a lot of time, and you wouldn’t have to go through a few days of freezing while you are waiting for it to come back from the cleaners.)

Actually, you know what? You should do all of those things now. It will save you time and money and make your life easier in the long run. And here’s what else you should do: If you have Seasonal Affective Disorder, start your treatment now.

If you have SAD, we don’t have to explain to you what it is. If you don’t have it, you might recognize it in your friends, family, or loved ones. It’s been called “Winter Blues” and “Winter Depression” for decades, and it’s actually listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. So yes, it’s a real thing.

Shortly after Daylight Savings Time ends, and it starts to get dark around 5 pm, and the only time you really see much of what sun there is in the sky is during your commute to work, and when the sun is actually out it’s hazy and gray, sufferers of SAD start to go through real and significant bouts of depression, with everything terrible that depression brings with it; withdrawal from family and friends, loss of appetite (or sometimes bouts of serious overeating,) loss of sex drive, apathy or feelings of hopelessness, and all the other symptoms that make winter much worse than it has to be.

girl with umbrella on the ocean shore, melancholia concept

As many of you who struggle with depression already know, it isn’t something that can be treated overnight. And a problem with treating SAD is that by the time the treatment starts resulting in benefits for the patient, winter is practically over. Patient A comes in to see us in mid-January while in the throes of SAD depression. We start with acupuncture, massage, or Chinese herbs, and by the time Patient A starts to feel like himself again, it’s getting on towards April. We’re certainly glad that we could help, but wouldn’t it have been better to have helped Patient A bypass that bout with SAD in the first place?

If you are a DC resident who routinely suffers from SAD, we highly recommend that you get in to see us now, when it’s still warm outside. We can do a full lab analysis, prepare a diet plan for you, get you started on Chinese herbs and supplements, start acupuncture treatments, and do everything we can to help you either drastically lessen your SAD or even help you avoid it entirely.

Think of it as the fable of the ant and the grasshopper. The ant did the work early and made it through the winter. The grasshopper didn’t. Come see us, ok?

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Rethinking RICE: A Better Way to Treat Injuries Thu, 16 Jul 2015 21:43:39 +0000 Have you ever a big old nasty sprained ankle? Have you ever limped into the doctor’s office for treatment? Have you ever heard the acronym RICE? We are willing to bet that you have.

RICE is considered the go-to treatment for sprained ankles and various other body parts. Here’s what it means:

Rest: Rest the sprain by keeping off of it. Don’t put weight on it. Lay around on the couch if you can.

Ice: Ice it down to keep the swelling down. Keep the ice directly off the skin, though, and only do it for about 20 minutes at a time, because you might get frostbite.

Compression: Wrap it up! Get a pressure bandage on it!

Elevation: Prop your foot above the waist if you are sitting, or above the head if you are lying down. This slows the blood flow to the affected area.

Get it? Lie down! Wrap it up! Dump ice on it! Stick your leg in the air! And wait! And maybe the doctor will give you some anti-inflammatory medicine if you’re lucky. So the end result of all this is that it’s supposed to cause the swelling and inflammation in your ankle to go away quicker, and if that happens, that means that your ankle will have totally healed, because the swelling is the key sign that your ankle is sprained, right?

Actually, no. We are not big fans of the RICE method of sprain healing, (or treating any other form of injury) and if you’ll bear with us, we will be glad to tell you why.

Inflammation and Swelling Serve a Purpose

When you sprain your ankle, that swelling that occurs is not merely decorative in nature. It’s actually serving a pretty important function. Swelling is increased blood flow to an injured area, it also causes a sort of barrier to keep stuff around the affected area, like a dam. Blood has this wonderful tendency to go and congregate where it is most needed. And it is definitely needed in an injury. So why on earth would you want the swelling to go down when it’s needed to help heal?

And why would you want anti-inflammatory drugs when inflammation helps the healing process work quicker? See this article on NSAIDS.

Ice, compression, and elevation all slow down the blood flow to a sprained ankle. And while you might be thinking that rest is the one thing here that works, but that isn’t effective either. Resting does nothing to help you rehabilitate your injury or get its strength back.

In other words, RICE actually gets in the way of allowing the body to heal sprains.

By the way, we aren’t just pulling this out of thin air. There has been quite a bit of dispute in medical rehabilitation circles recently about whether RICE is effective, or whether it’s the exact opposite of effective. And interestingly enough, one person doing a lot of the disputing is the guy who actually came up with the RICE acronym back in 1978. Dr. Gabe Mirkin wrote a book called Sports Medicine Book that’s still in use today, and at the time, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation seemed to be the obvious way of doing things.

But thinking can change in medicine, and so can evidence. Dr. Mirkin is now of the opinion that isn’t the way to go about it. In an article on his website, Dr. Mirkin cites several studies that contradict his earlier recommendations, including the following:

  • “The National Athletics Trainers Association found that ice was an over-simplified method and NOT effective at speeding up the healing process for a sprained ankle…It also recommends that you skip compression, which had no real impact on recovery….the study found that exercise helped to maintain blood flow and flexibility to the injured ankle, both of which are proven to speed up recovery.”
  • The Journal of Athletic Training published a study that found “when muscle tissues cool from icing the skin, blood vessels constrict and shut off the blood flow that brings in healing cells…After the ice is removed, the blood may then return, but the blood vessels may not open for many hours after the ice application…this research team found that this can cause the tissue to die due to lack of blood flow. It can also lead to temporary or permanent nerve damage and disability in the individual or athlete.
  • The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that “tissue that is damaged through trauma or vigorous exercise requires inflammation…When muscles and other tissues are damaged, your body sends inflammatory cells to the damaged tissue to promote healing.”

The point of all this is that conventional wisdom no longer seems so conventional. So what do you do for a sprained ankle, and how can Pekoe help you with this?

The first step is to let the swelling and inflammation happen. Yes, it’s painful, and yes it looks ugly, but this is part of the healing process. Its okay to use ice shortly after the injury, as ice can help numb pain, but only use it for a short period of time (no more than twenty minutes.) Do not sit around with a bag of ice on your ankle all day. That won’t do you any good, and could actually hurt you. Your doctor will probably recommend you do some light movement to help with strength and rehabilitation, and you should definitely do what he says.

Second, come see us. We can use acupuncture treatment to increase blood flow and help with inflammation (which is actually good for you and promotes healing.) We can also help move the process along with Chinese herbs and massage treatments.

We really hope that you don’t sprain your ankle. It hurts and it’s inconvenient. But we want you to heal as quickly as possible, and it looks like RICE isn’t the way to go about it.

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Q&A with Liana Brooks-Rubin, L.AC., M.AC., RYT-500 Thu, 16 Jul 2015 20:57:33 +0000 Q: Do you just do acupuncture at Pekoe, or do you have other specialties?

I do acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and private yoga therapy.

So you pretty much run the whole gamut of services at Pekoe. Almost everything they offer, you do.

I do a lot of it, but I mainly focus on acupuncture and Chinese herbs, and those two categories are very much in lockstep. I have about 90% of my patients using herbs. I don’t typically do separate groups for acupuncture or Chinese herbs, because what normally happens is that someone will come and see me for acupuncture, and once we get to a point where there’s progress, Chinese herbs will usually help things along. And I don’t think I’m unique in that. Herbs and acupuncture are the two pillars of Chinese medicine. They usually go together.

How did you get started in acupuncture and Chinese medicine?

My first career was as a diplomat/humanitarian at the State Department. I traveled to a lot of war zones and difficult places, and I started to develop insomnia and anxiety, and various other PTSD-like symptoms. I started practicing yoga, and that helped tremendously, and then a friend recommended acupuncture, and that helped even more.  So I got my interest in acupuncture through my own symptoms, and through the example of what acupuncture did for me personally. And as I was progressing through my career at the State Department, I was working in the Refugees Bureau, and it was humanitarian work that I cared about greatly, but I wanted to switch to something where I could help people directly.

The idea being that the Refugees Bureau was important, but it was policy, and there were a lot of things regarding outcomes that were out of your control.

Right. And at the time I was fascinated with Chinese medicine, and I was reading books on Chinese herbs and Ayurveda while I was becoming a yoga teacher, and I was talking to my friends in acupuncture, and they all said “Just make the leap. Just do it.” And that seemed crazy to me, because I was already a manager at State. But they correctly pointed out that I was miserable, so I quit my job and went back to school, and that was that.

How long ago was this?

That was about five years ago. And honestly, it’s great that I’m practicing in Washington, DC, because I have a great understanding of what many of them are going through.

You come from the same peer group.

Yes. I get it. I really do. I understand the pressure and the need for perfection and the frustration of things not turning out the way you hoped for reasons that are completely beyond your control. So I feel that I can both provide them with relief and also show them other possibilities. Bear in mind, I’m not saying that they should all quit their jobs and do something else, but I can at least offer perspectives on how to make choices that don’t make you ill.

When you were going through your PTSD symptoms, did it ever occur to you to try antidepressants or any other pharmaceutical treatments?

I really didn’t want to go down that route. I thought to myself, “If it gets to be really then I’ll try the chemical route,” but in a really short period of time with the yoga and acupuncture, I started feeling better, so I didn’t have to. Believe me, I did talk therapy, and there were a lot of suggestions that I start with the pharmaceuticals, but I was resistant. I got acupuncture once a week, plus I was having massages and doing yoga every day, and meditation in between all of those things. And it’s not as if the bad stuff just never comes up, but the acupuncture and the yoga and the massages helped keep it from taking over my life.

Where did you go to school for acupuncture?

I went to Maryland University of Integrative Health, which was the first accredited acupuncture school in the country. My main reason for going there was that I was already settled and married with kids, and my husband’s job was here, so I didn’t even think about other options. It’s a pretty rigorous 4-year program with acupuncture and herbs, and a lot of clinical requirements. Going there was an easy decision. Honestly, if I were younger and single and the world were my oyster, I would have considered somewhere else, but this worked out perfectly.

How did you end up at Pekoe?

When I was first teaching yoga, I was at a studio with a naturopathic doctor, and she had an office in a corner of the studio, and we stayed in touch over the years. I was practicing in Maryland for a while, but we were moving from Maryland into DC, and it made sense to try to move my practice as well, also because in DC there are fewer acupuncturists per capita. So I contacted my doctor friend, and she recommended me to Nicole and Dalila. I came here, and I loved the space and I loved the neighborhood, and it felt like I was right where I needed to be. It was a done deal. A lot of studios are located in generic office buildings around Farragut.

Sure. It feels like you’re going to get audited.

Right. But with Pekoe I walk in and I think “I’m at work. I love it here.” It’s such a different feeling. The environment here is a lot better, and people can feel it the second they walk in the door. It feels home-like, but also spa-like. It’s not too home-like, where it feels like you are sitting in someone’s living room, but it’s also not sterile or professional to the point of being completely impersonal.

Are you from the DC area originally?

I spent half my childhood in Massachusetts, and the other half in Tuscon, Arizona. Then I lived overseas for several years while I was in the State Department. But I’ve lived here since 1999.

Was it a bit of a culture shock between Massachusetts and Tucson and overseas and then here?

Tucson is a very special place, but it’s also very insular. When I came back to the East Coast, I was a bit shocked, because people didn’t always make eye contact, there wasn’t the same amount of warmth. And I remember thinking that I was going to have a hard time living in this part of the country. But then I acclimated to it, and I fell in love with DC. It’s a diverse city, and there’s a huge variety of occupations and level of expertise here. In a place like Tucson, everyone is a healer and everyone has their shingle out, so I like surveying this community and feeling like I’m doing something unique.

Do you still keep your head in the policy game a little bit?

Well, for many years after I resigned, and even when I was in school and hadn’t started practicing full time, I still did contracting work. I haven’t done that for three or four years now, but as a result of staying connected I’m still friends with a lot of my former colleagues. So I pay attention from the sidelines, but I can’t say I’m still involved. I’ll see what’s happening, and then I’ll roll my eyes and say “well, nothings really changed.” That magic wand hasn’t been found yet.

What do you like about practicing acupuncture and Chinese medicine?

No matter what the case involves, no matter what someone is coming in for, whether it’s a tight shoulder or knee pain or a complex endocrine disorder, I never look at one symptom and just address that. I try to help them understand how the lifestyle choices that they make affect them and determine what’s manifesting physically. And in most cases, I find that if I work with them for quite a while they reach that conclusion on their own, but I’m really keen on helping people understand their agency in healing, and helping them empower themselves. I like it when my patients feel like they can come to me as much as they need to, but they don’t feel like they are dependent on the needles and the herbs, because ultimately there’s not much of a difference between that mindset and a doctor just refilling the same prescription over and over again.

Is there any kind of case that you’ve had where you’ve seen remarkable transformation due to your treatment over a period of time?

Oh, there are a lot. I work with a lot of fertility patients. A lot of them have cycles that aren’t regular, because many of them have been on birth control pills for years, and they don’t get their periods back, or they developed ovarian cysts. So there have been some occasions where a woman hasn’t had her period in a year, and then she starts menstruating after being on Chinese herbs for a month. Or there are cases where a woman has been trying to conceive and has been unsuccessful, and I’ve been able to help her through it. And then there are cases where I have a patient with a chronic disease, and it’s very gratifying to help them get through that. I have one woman with ALS, and she’s come in every week for the past year, and I’m helping to alleviate a lot of those symptoms, and doing everything that I can to slow down the progression of the disease, and the progression of the disease is remarkably slow. You can’t stop ALS in its tracks, but we’ve been able to really slow it down.

So you are finding that helping people specifically is better than helping in the abstract?

Sure. I’d go write these memos and go brief Congress, and maybe something would happen, but there were often so many other factors at play that had nothing to do with what I was doing, and with this I can see the tangible benefits of my actions reflected in the patients that I see.

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Remodeling! Construction! We’re Going to Look Amazing! Thu, 16 Jul 2015 20:52:28 +0000 It’s been a little over two years (7/17/13!) since we moved here to Shaw from New York Avenue, and it was hands-down the best decision we ever made to move here. We are in a great neighborhood, we have an awesome location on 9th Street, and we have great facilities in which to practice.

We also made a few needed improvements, like Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades, which allows our disabled clientele to easily get in and out of our offices, and even get up and down the stairs to our lower level treatment rooms. This week, we’re shutting our doors for five days to renovate and will be back open on Tuesday, July 28th!

We got the funding for these through Shaw Main Streets, which is a private group working to revitalize Shaw, and Great Streets, which is a DC government group working to revitalize DC in general. We applied for (and received!!!) small business improvement grants, which allowed us to upgrade our facilities and purchase needed equipment. We were smart about how we spent the money, so we had enough left over to schedule some more improvements this summer. (By the way, when you get grants like these, the money has to go to things that improve either the function or the look of your business, so if you get one, you can’t go spending it on keg parties.)

Here’s what we have in the pipeline:

  • Soundproofing: As most of you who have been here already know, a quiet, relaxed setting is crucial to effective treatment. We try as hard as we can to be as quite as possible in the waiting room and when we are walking Exterior Before_2around the Pekoe premises, but it isn’t always easy or possible to maintain that level of silence, especially with stompy upstairs neighbors. Soundproofing will allow us to greet clients and conduct business without disturbing your acupuncture or massage.
  • Weatherproofing: The Pekoe offices are great, but we are certainly in an old building. We realized that over the winter. Shoring up our vents and windows will keep us warm, and also save us (and ultimately you) money on our heating bills.
  • Exterior Painting: This is not complicated. We need a new coat of paint.
  • Bathroom Remodeling: We have two bathrooms, and they are both great, but they could be better.
  • Refinishing the Floor: It’s not like our floor is messed up or anything, but we want to make it shine.
  • New Sign: Now THIS we are really excited about. Just wait until you see it.

The upshot of all of this is that we will have to shut down operations for a VERY brief period of time. We’ll be closed and taking treatments already scheduled at other locations. (YAY, helpful neighbors!) We hope this won’t be too much of an inconvenience for any of you, but believe me, the wait will be worth it.


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Liana is Doing a Triathlon to Help Support ALS Research!!! Mon, 06 Jul 2015 02:24:20 +0000 A few months ago, I agreed to participate in a personal challenge to raise money for the Blazeman Foundation, which is dedicated to advancing ALS research.  I did so solely because of one inspiring person, Andrea Peet, who has changed the way I walk in the world. Now she is moving me to do more than just walk, and I need your support.

I met Andrea just before she was diagnosed with ALS at age 33, less than one year after completing five triathlons, including a Half Ironman.  Amazingly, even given her compromised mobility and after the emotional toll of receiving a life-altering diagnosis, Andrea completed a sprint triathlon in October and was greeted at the finish line by almost 100 people.  These were not just friends or family – but other competitors who had gotten wind of her participation and decided to have an impromptu party to celebrate her grit and awesome spirit.

Following this feat, she immediately set to work, raising awareness about the disease and fundraising to support much-needed research.  Dozens of inspired friends, family members, and friends-of-friends accepted Andrea’s challenge to sign up for any race (or series of races) that scared/inspired them and, in the process, raise money for the Blazeman Foundation, named after Jon “Blazeman” Blais who completed an Ironman Triathlon five months after his ALS diagnosis, also at age 33.

Andrea’s physical accomplishments are indeed impressive, as is her dedication to raising money and awareness about the (rather pathetic) state of ALS research through meetings and lobbying on Capitol Hill, numerous public speaking events, and outreach.  (For more about policy issues regarding ALS, please check out this blog post).

None of these hold a candle, though, to Andrea’s spirit, one of the brightest you’ll ever encounter.  I mean it.  She is not in denial about her disease, and it is a gross understatement to say that it is a challenge for her to live in a body that has changed so much, so quickly.  Yet, like a few other luminous people I’ve had the privilege of knowing, she lives in the present and is filled with gratitude for the life she has.  This spirit, this gratitude, this courage, this spunk is why I consider Andrea’s presence in my life a tremendous gift and why I HAD TO accept her challenge.

So, I am doing the Savageman Olympic distance triathlon on September 19th in Deep Creek, MD.

I won’t get into why it scares me, but trust me when I say that it does.  The name alone sends chills up my spine.  I will be riding Andrea’s former race bike.  I figure that alone will give me some kind of savage, womanly super-power.  I’m counting on it!

Thank you for reading to the end.  I am aiming to raise at least $1,500 by September 19th.  Please click on this link to donate any amount toward my efforts:

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Hey! We Know a Little About the Vagus Nerve, Too! Wed, 17 Jun 2015 02:34:50 +0000 Do you know what the Vagus nerve is? Probably not, and that’s ok.

It’s the longest cranial nerve in the body, traveling down from the brain stem into the abdomen. It handles a ton of those involuntary functions that your body needs to do without thinking about. (Breathing, your heart beating, digesting food, etc.) It’s incredibly important, and touches pretty much every major system in your body.

So of course modern medicine is doing its best to monkey around with it.

There was an article in Wired recently that detailed (in a pretty jabbering nerdy manner) all of the plans that are being put in place and on their way to being approved by the FDA, including:

  • Various Implants that trigger electrical signals to the Vagus nerve, which in one case might help with epilepsy, and in another might help with…um…depression. I mean, we know it isn’t actually shock treatment, but are they or are they not zapping people with electricity to help with perceived mental illness?
  • More implants that apparently block the impulse to eat, which could help people suffering from obesity! Diet and exercise are so stone aged!
  • Treating headaches, not with implants but with electrical stimulation of the Vagus nerve! Again with the electricity!

Look, far be it from us to stand in the way of modern medicine. We’re big fans. But we know what the Vagus nerve is too. It’s actually a big part of how we treat our clients. We can treat depression and headaches, and we can do it without using surgical implants or electric shocks. We can help with obesity, too.

We would urge you to consider coming to us if you are having problems that you can’t get sorted. Give our acupuncture treatment a try, or come talk to our functional medicine specialists. You’d be amazed at what can be handled without the use of devices or invasive surgeries.

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Take the Pekoe Water Challenge! Wed, 17 Jun 2015 02:25:12 +0000 Beautiful curly girl drinking water from a glass

Hot out there, huh? We’re willing to bet a few of you forgot what DC summers were like during the winter. Heat, yes, but also that glorious, prototype East Coast humidity. You can see the haze hanging over the Potomac, and you can feel the sweat pool in the small of your back, and you think to yourself “Man, these August days are really something!” Then you remember that it’s only June, and you burst into tears.

Don’t worry. It does get better, and it normally doesn’t stay this way for all of June. Believe it or not, summer weather has a bit of tendency to fluctuate. It’s just that when we get one of those five or ten day stretches of heat, the humidity makes it seem intolerable.

So, listen. It’s pretty easy to forget to handle a pretty crucial part of taking care of yourself when you are distracted from the heat and humidity, but please remember to stay hydrated. “Well, that’s ridiculous,” you are probably thinking. “I’m covered in sweat and really thirsty. Of course I’m going to stay hydrated.” But see, since you are covered in sweat and really thirsty, you are already dehydrated, and probably have been for a while.

A common misconception is that being dry-mouthed is the starting point of dehydration. It isn’t. It’s the sadly belated point where your body lets you know that you need some water. And you might not realize this, but your body needs quite a lot of it.

How much exactly? The commonly accepted amount is 64 ounces per day for a body to run efficiently, and if you remember your multiplication tables, means that you should drink 8 8 ounce classes per day. Now, nobody is expecting you to drink that all at once. We would recommend carrying one of those fancy, new-fangled water bottles, sipping periodically, and refilling it when needed.

So why should you do that? Why carry around a bucket of water? What happens if you don’t? Lots of bad stuff.

Lack of Energy: Tired all the time despite sleeping 8 hours or more a night? It might have something to do with your body having to expend more energy for basic tasks because it doesn’t have the materials that it needs. Like water.

Dry Skin: Hey, Flakey McAshington, has it occurred to you that you might not have to spend that much money on lotion every week? Seriously. If you drink enough water you’ll find that your skin will rebound a lot faster than it used to.

Headaches: There are lots of different causes of headaches. But they happen a lot easier if your body is dehydrated.

Constipation: We’ll avoid a pithy remark here. Just drink water, ok?

Do your friends at Pekoe a favor: For one week, try actually drinking 8 glasses of water every day. And we mean WATER, not sports drinks, or Red Bull, or juice. We mean just plain water. Just try it. See what happens. We guarantee you that your skin will look better, you will have more energy, and you will be able to concentrate better at work or school. It works! It really does! And with summer here your body needs it more than ever. Here’s some tips to make water interesting and delicious!!

Hydration pro tip #1: Drink room temperature or warm drinks instead of ice cold. You shouldn’t be using a lot of ice in your beverages anyway, your body takes a lot of energy to warm it up before digestion, which increases your body temp! If you’re ingesting warmer drinks, your body can easily acclimate to the heat.


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